Think Quality and Safety
In extreme weather, place quality and safety over habit. Take your running workout indoors when the temperature drops to extreme levels. I encourage runners to include a mix of outdoor and indoor running during the coldest, darkest times of the year. You'll get more benefit from your workouts and reduce the chance of injury.
I'd much rather have a runner complete an interval workout on a treadmill than risk a slip or strain running in a snowstorm. It also adds an element of safety for those that run solo in the dark hours of the day.
What's fitness without being able to play? When snow falls, make it an opportunity rather than a point of frustration. Rent snowshoes and hit the trails for a challenging running workout. You'll use muscles that you don't normally and you'll burn a ton of calories. Ice skating, sledding, and making a snowman with the kids are other healthy activities that will keep you active and help to provide a spark to your weekly routine.
Get Strong and Flexible
Winter is the perfect time to weave in more strength and flexibility exercises. Whether it be a Pilates class, Crossfit or a scheduled workout with a trainer, include strength training 2 to 3 times per week to build a solid base for the season ahead. Add variety by including hill workouts to build leg strength and stamina. Finish every workout with a full-body flexibility routine to maintain healthy joints and range of motion.
Run With a Group
Accountability is a wonderful motivator when the gremlins are telling you to stay in bed and sleep in. Schedule a run with a buddy or group to play it safe during dark hours while still getting in some healthy social time. One of my favorite winter running memories was with my training group. It snowed hard off the lake for the entire run, and when we finished we were all covered in snow, but only on one side of our bodies. When you're running with a tribe of your friends, the miles fly by even in the harshest of weather conditions.
And these are the runs you'll never forget.race.